Miss my review last week? You can find it here!
The adventuring party makes their way into the goblin den after dispatching the small scouting party out front. Goblin Slayer cuts open one of the goblins and applies its blood onto his companions. The Archer is disgusted, but the Priestess, amused, assures her that “you get used to it”.
Venturing into the caverns, they come to a fork in the road. The dwarf is able to identify that the bulk of the clan is to the left, but Goblin Slayer is interested in going right to explore the cave for more information.
To their horror, they discover an elf woman chained to the wall, obviously heavily injured and likely having been violated by the goblins.
The stoic knight draws his blade, seemingly moving to end her suffering as the rest of the party looks on with disbelief. The elf is hurt, surely, but doesn’t seem to be the victim of poison the same way the Priestess’ mage companion was in episode 1. Just as he’s about to strike, it’s revealed that there’s a small goblin nearby that attempts to get the jump on the Goblin Slayer.
He’s immediately killed, and the Lizardman creates a bone-creature companion to carry the woman out of the cave.
The group continues towards the center of the den, where they find dozens of sleeping goblins. Crafting a plan to keep them all in a deep slumber, they’re able to manipulate the goblins and kill them one by one without much resistance.
The real challenge comes with the reveal of their leader – a massive Ogre!
Explaining that he was granted these forces by a General of the Demon King, he quickly showcases that he’s unlike any of the enemies they’ve faced before, the Ogre commands a massive weapon and tremendous strength, as well as a fearsome fireball spell!
The team works together as best as they can, but when Goblin Slayer is knocked against the wall, the entire team seems to be up against the ropes.
After the Priestess aids him with a couple of potions, Goblin Slayer declares that he has a plan. Retrieving they mysterious scroll that was referenced a couple weeks back, he approaches the Ogre and invokes it, slicing the beast to pieces and extinguishing the massive fireball spell that he was preparing. It’s revealed that the scroll was a Gate spell – and he targeted the bottom of the ocean. The resulting highly pressurized water that came streaming out did horrific damage to the monster and put the fireball out.
As the Ogre lay dying, he seems incredulous that the Goblin Slayer was planning on using such a powerful spell on a goblin nest. Before ending him, the armored warrior issues a final insult to the beast: “Goblins are far more troublesome than you.”
Recovering from the ordeal, the adventurers make their way out of the cavern and into the back of a wagon – taking a breather as they’re presumably on their way back to town.
This was a great dungeon-crawl of an episode to be sure. Goblin Slayer continues to embrace the traditional fantasy structure, complete with Ogres, Goblins, and an isolated monster den that’s ripe for exploring.
I really enjoyed watching the party get to know each other more, recognizing the different ways they all explore and adventure. Like a Dungeons and Dragons party getting a feel for the mechanics, it was satisfying to watch them approach the daunting task of taking out dozens of goblins with a heavy dose of strategy. It emphasizes the importance of planning and research in an otherwise brutal and unforgiving world. Tragedies like the one we witnessed in episode 1 are common, but they don’t have to be. Goblin Slayer’s “side quest” that uncovered the injured Elf and the map of the dungeon is a great example of this.
Another shining beacon in this series is the way that speed and weight are incorporated with the various fight scenes. This isn’t your typical fantasy series, where the swordsmen are dashing about the field performing multi-hit combos and sorcerers are raining down meteors on their enemies. Spells are slow, and simple. Heavy weapons travel slowly, and light weapons lack impact. The climactic battle against the Ogre is a great example. From the start, it’s not a given that our heroes would succeed.
Archer definitely feels in a bit over her head based on her initial reaction, but the whole squad knows what needs to be done. Everyone gets a chance to shine a bit, from Archer’s eye-shot to the Lizardman’s skeletal companions, to the Dwarf’s rock blast and Priestess’ clutch double-Protection spell. They all play their part, and while Goblin Slayer gets the killing blow, the viewer comes away from the fight respecting what the team was able to accomplish together.
This is just great fantasy entertainment. I’m hopeful that we get some more plot structure around the Demon King in the episodes to come in order to build out a broader story, but a couple more episodes of dungeon crawling and adventure would be just fine with me too!